Virtuoso such as Alfred Brendel wants to "capture the butterfly and pin it under glass Virtuosity isn t just about how the pianist treats "the butterfly and pin it under glass Virtuosity isn t just about how the pianist treats music but what kind of reaction he or she licits from the audience it includes a physical sometimes borderline sexual responseVirtuosos according to Mitchell Liszt Evgeny Kissin Krystian Zimerman Alfred Cortot Vladimir Horowitz Rudolf Serkin Maurizio Pollini Artur Rubinstein Claudio Arrau Ivo Pogorelich Martha ArgerichNon virtuosos Alfred Brendel Murray Perahia Artur Schnabel Radu Lupu Tzimon BartoOne mightbe so bold as to assert that most virtuosi are homosexual asserts Mitchell Which is strange because of the virtuosi he mentions the only one I know to be homosexual is Horowitz Van Cliburn was a young virtuoso but then became a failed virtuoso because he allowed his career to be stunted
MITCHELL MENTIONS THE GAY STEVEN HOUGHmentions the gay Steven Hough I m not sure he considers Hough a virtuoso Of course there s Liberace but are virtuosity and camp compatible I find that a hard proposition to defend myselfWhat I find worst about the book are Mitchell s ad hominem attacks There s an abominable segment on a Leon Fleisher recital which seems to blame Fleisher for the freakshow aspect of his #audience heavily rouged and voluble Fellini sue old ladies in leopard coats which derides his sinister program that day an #heavily rouged and voluble Fellini sue old ladies in leopard coats which derides his sinister program that day an left handed. Mozart in Anglo Saxon culture and in a particularly witty section the relationship of the virtuoso to his stool Throughout Mr Mitchell's prose is humorous intimate and unapologeticaly polemical Cynthia OzickThe artistic merit of performers with superior techniue has long been almost ipso facto denied At last Mark Mitchell launches a counterattack In Adams Gene And The Mitochondrial Eve essays crackling with pianistic lore Mitchell takes on topics such asncores prodigies competitions virtuosi in film and literature and the The Little Red Hen Beginning Reader Illustrated erotics of musical performance Liszt Horowitz and Argerich share these pages with theccentric Pachmann Ervin Nyiregyh the skid ro. Horrible Mitchell ditor of The Penguin Book of International Gay Writing and with "His Lover The Novelist "lover the novelist Leavitt co ditor of The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories wants to do a different kind of music writing non academic stripped of all the nonsensical private language and dangerous anticreative agendas that have bedeviled so much contemporary scholarship Sounds good I guess Except that his own writing style can be fussy and precious and is often topically self indulgent How weird is it that David Leavitt who is in no way central to the book has two index ntries one under Leavitt the other under simply DavidStill this was a very ntertaining read I found large chunks of it ludicrous indefensible and just plain mean but I thoroughly Enter The Dragon enjoyed myself as myyes rolled around in my headMitchell s subject is the virtuosos of the piano Virtuosity is a marriage of interpretative and technical superiority and Mitchell insists he doesn t want us to understand that it s anything other than that but much of the book xplains what other lements constitute virtuosity The virtuoso throws caution to the wind and plays balls out always flirting with danger and the demonic For the non virtuoso the perfect performance the final statement is the grail The virtuoso such as Vladimir Horowitz admires the rare butterfly in the meadow and walks on The non. VirtuosiA Defense and a Sometimes Erotic Celebration of Great PianistsMark MitchellA bravura performanceVigorous opinionated and always Ang Mga Love Dilemma Ni Jane entertaining here is a personalssayist of great charm and sincerity Mitchell's O Mundo De Sofia erudition his collection of odd and illuminating bits of knowledge is always a delight and adds a sauce piuanteto the whole dish Edmund Whitea literary work of reallan vibrancy and grace the very ualities that in his view define the virtuoso Mr Mitchell Super Fabulous explores the traditional linking of musical and sexual virtuosity thethical implications of the original instruments' movement the near deification of. ,
Program get it on a day when Fleisher was "DOING THE FAVOR OF FILLING IN FOR AN AILING "the favor of filling in for an ailing Mitchell cattily mentions that after listening to Fleisher s 1959 recording of the Liszt sonata with an Italian critic the critic suggested that it would have been better for the piano if Fleisher had lost the use of both of his hands Really the mind is boggledThen there s Mitchell s worshipful description of an Argerich concert where Argerich struck her page turner for messing up Like struck as in hit This made Mitchell love her The Team That Jack Built even In a chapter titled A Homosexual Aesthetic Mitchell suggests that gay pianists are rarely size ueens Rather it is heterosexuals who want to play the big sonatas the big concerti who are driven to prove themselves strong virile potent heroically hung He mentions Perahia performing for nearly 25 hours in Florence as if for him Florence was a sort of locker room in which he wanted to prove that his musical penis was grander or that his staying power was greater than that ofither of his colleagues Apparently Mitchell has forgotten the time his idol Horowitz famously did some penis waving of his own playing the sizeable warhorsey Tchaikovsky First Concerto with the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham at Carnegie Hall in 1928 ignoring Beecham s tempo racing off to the finish as if playing by himselfThe book is riddled with typos. W pianist and Liberace The illustrations include rare portraits of long forgotten girl prodigies historic concert programs and stills from a lost 1927 film on Beethoven Punctuating this celebration of personal voice are vignettes running from the beginnings of the author's obsession with the piano to the particularities of concert going in Italy where he now livesMark Mitchell's piano studies led to a friendship with Vladimir Horowitz and other pianistic luminaries With David Leavitt he co authored Italian Pleasures and co Pioneers Of Modern Typography edited Pages Passed from Hand to Hand He alsodited The Penguin Book of International Gay Writi.